The first Parliament Day was held in Hawick on November 4th and 5th 2012.
Local school pupils started to prepare for the event with an education session at Hawick High on Friday November 2nd. 20 pupils from Earlston, Kelso and Hawick High joined together to explore how the budget process works with Parliament staff. Local MSP John Lamont met the group to explain his role and to see how they were getting on with their spending decisions.
On Sunday 4th November over 80 invited guests joined Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick and MSPs at a reception at Heart of Hawick’s iconic Tower Mill. Fraser Knight and Christina Hendry welcomed the Parliament to their town with a special presentation and introduced a film about youth employment. This was followed by a fashion show staged by students from Hawick High’s Creative Fashion course. Four young adults from local music group, Riddell Fiddles, played for guests.
On Monday 5th November the focus was on the Parliament’s Finance Committee and their annual scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s proposed budget. Local business people were invited to workshops to have their say; 21 local organisations were represented. Attendees stayed on for the first part of the formal Committee meeting where the members of the Committee fed back on the content of the workshops .
Following an informal public Q&A session with Committee Convener, Kenneth Gibson MSP, the second part of the formal Committee meeting saw the Committee take evidence from John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth. Over 65 members of the public took advantage of this opportunity to see Parliament in action in their town.
Also on Parliament Day, Regional MSPs for the South of Scotland visited local Primary schools:
Chic Brodie MSP went to Burnfoot Primary
Jim Hume MSP met pupils at Wilton Primary
Joan McAlpine MSP went to both Trinity Primary and Drumlanrig St Cuthbert’s Primary
Paul Wheelhouse MSP visited Stirches Primary.
The schools were invited to interview their visiting MSP and to write up the front page of a special “Parliament Day News” report. Here are the reports from the schools, written by the pupils:
Burnfoot Primary School Newspapers (306KB pdf, published 28.11.2012)
Stirches Primary School Newspapers (435KB pdf, published 28.11.2012)
Wilton Primary School Newspapers (597KB pdf, published 28.11.2012)
The Presiding Officer visited three local groups who are based in Hawick with John Lamont MSP, Member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire. First, they visited Artbeat Studios to meet local people who were taking part in the variety of activities offered by the group including learning to play the guitar. Next the PO stopped off on Home Basics and helped to deliver items of furniture to one of their clients, who is a new tenant. Finally, they went to meet Hawick Senior Citizens Association where a game of carpet bowls was enjoyed.
Photograph: Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP with Finance Committee Convenor Kenny Gibson MSP.
A snapshot video of the first Parliament Day event held in Hawick on the 5th of November
Images from the first Parliament Day in Hawick
Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP introduces the first Parliament Day in Hawick.
An introduction to the work of committees and their role in conducting inquiries, scrutinising legislation and holding the Scottish Government to account.